I welcome any of my students to participate in this blog. It is because of you that I teach and what you have to say is by far much more important than my comments. If you are ready to write something just click REPLY below and have at it. If you would prefer I edit it first, send it to my personal email at email@example.com and I will send it back to you with editing.
I hope you will take advantage of this. Anything is acceptable. ANYTHING!
Have you ever worked somewhere were you just felt alienated to the point that you would ask yourself everyday, “Why am I here?”
I transitioned from short-term sub to Long Term Substitute at the start of this current school year. I will be here until the school year is complete and then move on. I would consider staying on but the concept of “Self-Contained Learning” is changing next year and they eliminated my position. At least that is my best guess why the position was eliminated.
Back to the point of this post.
I DON’T BELONG HERE!
I am not certified. It’s that simple. Unless you are certified you are not able to be paid the same as a certified teacher, even if you are doing exactly the same thing. I am doing what a certified teacher would be doing in my position. I am working full-time for the same period of time. I am responsible for writing lesson plans.
So, you may ask, what is the problem?
- As a Long Term Substitute I get paid day to day, not based on a full time job. This means I don’t get paid for holidays longer than 1 day.
- Although I am full-time I am not considered a “Permanent” employee so I do not get retirement benefits or extra paychecks from the School Levy. This particular point really ticks me off since I live in the county and pay a large bill every year towards a levy they don’t let me share. I have voiced concern over this but it goes unnoticed because, well, I am not part of their “IN-GROUP”.
- I still have to participate in all the same training and meetings outside of teaching even though it means nothing to me as a LTS.
Certification – I was actually prepared to become certified if it meant I could continue in my position while going through the Alternative Certification Program. With “budget cuts, and the possible reorganization of RESA-8, this program has been stopped and any possibility of me going through an Alternative Certification program is DEAD. You may ask why I don’t go back to school? If you know me then you know I cannot NOT pay my mortgage, or raise my kids and go to school at the same time.
Kind of like the Old Brotherhood of Japan, Mafia of Italy, Mob of Russia and other tight closed groups, Public Education protects itself from the outside world. if you are not certified DON’T approach. Keep your distance.
It’s pretty ironic since they do need the support of the business community. They need business people to come out of retirement and become teachers but they are only willing to take us on as short and long term substitutes. They are so HIGH AND MIGHTY with their “Certificates” that the rest of us are lowly in comparison. You can have a Masters or PhD in something, but if it is not in Education, FORGET IT!
A week before the current school year I was called by the principal of Washington High School in Charles Town, WV to cover a vacancy for a Multi-Categorical Special Education position. The role includes a Self-Contained class of 8 students with IEP classifications and 5 Inclusion classes that I “Co-Teach” with another teacher. The subject for the class is Earth and Space Science. I am a Long-term Substitute teacher, licensed but not Certified.
In 10 short days we will finish the 3rd of 4 9-week teaching periods.
As I write this I am finishing our 5th Period. it is our largest inclusion class and by far the most rambunctious group. Every kid in the class is, in their own way, a pleasure to teach, but when you bring them together it can be quite energetic.
More to come…
On occasion, my students will show me something that I never knew before. This does not amaze me but it is always “neat” to learn a new trick and in the case of teaching Science, to learn and understand the scientific reasoning behind it.
Pencils that stick to the “masonry” wall. – One student showed how to stick a lead pencil on the wall by use of friction.
Place the pencil against brick.
Move the pencil upward toward the tip.
It should stick on the wall until removed. We did not do an experiment to see how long it would stay on its own but one of them was forgotten for at least 15 minutes.
2. The can that can stand on an angle. The student claimed it was due to the amount of liquid left in the can (about 20%), balance and “magic”. I tried it and it worked. Totally cool of course. It did not work once emptied. He did warn me not to spill it. Once it is standing on its end it can even rotate without falling. Extra cool.
One of our teachers invited fellow teachers to be guest speakers in her classroom today during their planning periods. I signed on when I heard about it thinking I could tell these seniors all about my day 15 years ago. It never occurred to me that I had bottled up a lot of pent up energy and memories that I never really talked about with anyone. I have certainly talked to friends and others about what I did that day but never to a group.
What I thought would be relatively easy turned out to be hard at times. I knew people who were lost that day and have stayed very active with those that the US has lost since 9/11 in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but until I started my short speech today I did not realize how that day truly effected me.
Simply put, 9/11/2001 changed America for ever. Unfortunately it has also changed the lives of millions of people around the world who have died in wars we have inflated or created because of that day. Our leadership has relaxed many rules and regulations allowing for enormous increases in insurance costs, inflation, pathetic trade agreements, and a seamless end to inequality.
I am encouraged to write a new book on my personal flash bulb memories.
If and when I find time…
I felt like Justin Bieber today.
I took my youngest to the Sweet Frog in Charles Town today. As usual my son headed right to the back of the store to get a cup. As we passed 3 teenagers who were sitting there I quickly recognized 2 of them from classes I subbed for last year. When they recognized me they both said “We love you.”
Yes, I was a great sub and always nice to the kids. I never Had a welcome like this but it made me happy to know I did a good job.
For just that moment I felt like a music star, but I am admittedly MUCH older than Justin Bieber.